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“For a number of lawyers looking to influence anti-terrorism policy, this was the office to get into,” says a current Justice political appointee. “But it’s comparatively a small staff, and most of us have no interaction with them, given the security issues they deal with.”
A great deal of focus is now on the NSD, in part because of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s requests for the names and positions of all Obama Department of Justice attorneys who prior to joining the administration worked directly or indirectly for suspected terrorists or enemy combatants.
One of those names was Jennifer Daskal, who is now a staffer on the NSD and who served as a senior counsel for Human Rights Watch before joining the administration. Daskal was involved in a number of lawsuits on behalf of enemy combatants and terrorists held in offshore secure facilities.
“Very little is known about the NSD, who works there, and how they operate within the department,” says a Republican Senate Judiciary staffer. “It’s a relatively new operation, so it’s time to start looking at what it does.”
Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate are shocked that the White House Office of Legislative Affairs is encouraging Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to develop the legislative blueprint for an immigration reform bill, which the administration might ask Congress to take up later this year.
“The White House has managed to kill the congressional careers of perhaps as many as 50 Democrats, and now it wants a few more scalps for the fall election cycle?” says one Democratic House member. “None of us wants to touch another hot-button issue until January 2011.”
In February, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a speech in Washington about the need to ensure freedom reigned on the Internet. At the time, the speech was viewed as a broadside against the governments of Iran and China, which had been heavily censoring online activities.
That may have been the case, but now officials at the State Department are looking at global treaty models that could be used for a kind of “Internet Free Speech Treaty,” which would give an institution like the United Nations some role in monitoring governments’ censoring activities of the Internet.
“It’s just another example of how far this administration wants to go to get government involved in the Internet,” says a former Bush administration official who worked on Internet issues at the Department of Commerce. “The United States invented the Internet, we’ve managed it, and it’s worked just fine. There is no need to hand it over to the UN so it can screw it up
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?